Casino games have remained mostly unchanged for decades, maybe centuries. Their looks evolved a lot, especially in the case of slot machines that went from boring boxes that occasionally went “Bing” to flashy cabinets with massive screens filled with bonuses, side games, and generous jackpots – but their essence remained the same. That was until online casinos came around, opening up a playground for game designers to test out some of their wildest ideas.
Since they are not restricted by space and cabinets, online casino games can be whatever their designers imagine them to be. The fact that most of them follow traditional formats has everything to do with marketing and nothing to do with creativity, as the example of these innovative games will show you.
Sometimes, less is more – this applies to everything from cooking to casino games. Spribe, a Ukraine-based game development studio took this to heart when creating one of the most minimalistic but still insanely successful games ever to be released at real money online casinos: Aviator.
Aviator captures the essence of gambling online for cash. It is stripped of every flashy feature and bonus game today’s online and offline games of chance are filled with, allowing players to focus on what’s most important: winning. The game has a plane on its screen (pretty much its only graphic element), but it could just as easily go with a simple counter. The plane takes off, and with it, the multiplier starts growing. When the plane “flies away”, the multiplier stops, and the players’ bets are settled. If the result is higher than their prediction, they win automatically – as soon as the multiplier reaches their predicted level, it’s applied to their stake. If not, they lose. And the cycle starts again almost immediately.
Finn and the Swirly Spin and Finn’s Golden Tavern (NetEnt)
Many slot machine developers have experimented with innovative slot machine formats. One of them is NetEnt with Finn and the Swirly Spin and Finn’s Golden Tavern. These two games have their symbols arranged in a spiral shape, and the symbols pay when they form clusters.
It’s a cluster slot but, at the same time, it’s something completely different that, with its magical theme and attractive graphics, is incredibly fun to play.
Dungeon: Immortal Evil (Evoplay)
Dungeon: Immortal Evil is a one-of-its-kind game of chance that’s basically a dungeon crawler. In it, our unnamed hero (who looks like a cross between Thor, Conan, and Geralt of Rivia) is advancing through the halls of a dungeon in a magnificent full 3D third-person view, cutting through demons, spirits, and other fantasy monsters. As they are cut down, these monsters release coins (wins), and even some power-ups.
The game has magnificent graphics and a unique atmosphere. It is obvious that it’s made with the “Xbox generation” in mind.
Honorable mention: Max Damage and the Alien Attack (Microgaming)
Finally, here’s one game that’s unfortunately no longer available, released at the time when Flash games and Microgaming’s Quickfire were still a thing: Max Damage and the Alien Attack.
It was, in its essence, Galaga – a legendary shooter from the golden age of coin-op arcades. A spaceship with Max Damage, Earth’s defender on board, has to stop wave after wave of invading alien ships.
Whenever an alien ship invades, players bet the amount of their stake – and the exploding ship revealed how much they have won. The explosions sometimes reveal power-ups, just like in the original game.
Max Damage was an incredibly fun game to play, especially for old-school gamers. It’s a pity it’s no longer available online.
In conclusion, while many casino games may seem like variations on a theme, game developers have been pushing the envelope with innovative ideas that take these games to a whole new level. From the minimalist Aviator by Spribe to the captivating Finn and the Swirly Spin and Finn’s Golden Tavern by NetEnt, and the unique atmosphere of Dungeon: Immortal Evil by Evoplay, these games offer players an exciting and unique experience. While some games, such as Max Damage and the Alien Attack by Microgaming, are no longer available, their impact on the gaming world is still felt. With online casinos constantly evolving, players can look forward to even more innovative games that will challenge their expectations and provide new thrills for years to come.